Biomonitoring of chemicals in biota of two wetland protected areas exposed to different levels of environmental impact: results of the “PREVIENI” project

Cristiana Guerranti, Guido Perra, Eva Alessi, Davide Baroni, Dante Caserta, Donatella Caserta, Augusto De Sanctis, Emiliano Leonida Fanello, Cinzia La Rocca, Michela Mariottini, Monia Renzi, Sabrina Tait, Carlo Zaghi, Alberto Mantovani, Silvano Ettore Focardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The PREVIENI project (funded by the Ministry of Environment) investigated the exposure to endocrine disrupters in samples of human population and environmental biota in Italy. The environmental biomonitoring considered two Italian WWF Oasis, with the aim to compare the presence and effects of endocrine disruptors in organisms from two protected natural areas, respectively, upstream and downstream a chemical emission site. Chemical analysis of pollutantsʼ tissue levels was made on tissues from earthworm, barbell, trout, and coot, selected as bioindicator organisms. The contaminants considered were as follows: the perfluorinated compounds perfuoroctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs 58 congeners), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, 13 congeners), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, 16 compounds), toxic trace elements, the phthalate di-2-ethylexyl phthalate (DEHP) and its primary metabolite, bisphenol A, synthetic musk compounds (musk xylene, musk ketone, tonalide, and galaxolide), and p-nonylphenol. The analyses showed low concentrations of most pollutants in all species from both areas, compared to available literature; noticeable exceptions were the increases of DEHP’s primary metabolite, PBDE, PAHs, Hg, and Pb in barbells, and of PCB and Cd in earthworms from the downstream area. The results showed the presence of endocrine disruptors, including those considered as “non-persistent,” in bioindicators from protected areas, albeit at low levels. The results provide a contribution to the evaluation of reference values in biota from Mediterranean Europe and support the relevance of monitoring exposure to pollutants, in particular for freshwater environment, also in protected areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number456
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Bioindicators
  • Organohalogen compounds
  • Perfluorinated compounds
  • Phenolic compounds
  • Phthalates
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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